Decision Time: The Tail of Dogma

In this interactive feature, Editor Brian Lovett shares a scenario from his 20+ years of turkey hunting, asking "What would you do?"
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Brian Lovett
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Decision Time: The Tail of Dogma

Postby Brian Lovett » August 2nd, 2012, 3:49 pm

In "Decision Time," Editor Brian Lovett will share a scenario from his 20-plus years hunting turkeys. Each hinges on a critical decision. Post what choice you would have made, and then see how things actually turned out.

The Tail of Dogma

We'd heard the turkey from afar — a half-mile or more — and embarked on an epic march. As we walked through marsh and woods, he gobbled. When we stopped to check him, he gobbled. And when we finally got within heart-quickening range, he gobbled.

But that was the issue. Yeah, he'd gobble. But he was also in the middle of a vast field. And as turkeys in vast fields often do, he stayed in the open, expecting that noisy hen would come to him. We couldn't go to him, of course, because that the aforementioned vast field.

So we did the next best thing. My buddy, a fantastic caller, set up by a big oak while I belly-crawled toward the field edge. He yelped as I crawled, just in case the bird changed its mind and decided to come in. We soon realized that wouldn't happen.

When I got within five steps of the field edge, I had a dilemma. I couldn't see the gobbler yet, but I guessed that he was 50 or 60 yards into the field. If I slipped the final few feet to the field, he might bust me, especially because I'd somehow wedged myself between two huge stumps. However, if I stayed put, the turkey would have to walk several steps closer and get where I could see him.

Conventional wisdom probably held that I should be patient and see what the turkey would do. Temptation begged me to slither a few more feet and get a visual on the longbeard. Which would win?

What would you have done? Post your decision below.

Click here for Lovett's decision.

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Re: Decision Time: The Tail of Dogma

Postby WillowRidgeCalls » August 6th, 2012, 10:40 pm

Since you've heard that bird from quite a distance, I take it that there wasn't much for wind that day? Wind makes your desission a lot easier, calm days makes moving on a bird near impossible because they can hear every twig snap or leaves rustle. If you can't see the bird or he can't see you, I'd probably be trying to get to that edge or as close as possible if I could. If you get caught in the open, then you need to depend on your camo doing what it's supposed to do. If your caller knows what calls to use on open field birds, that draw them in close, you should be set?

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